Delaware Delaware Government Sussex County

Councilman Sam Wilson Says the Quiet Part Out Loud

I wish I could stop being surprised at the sheer contempt that some folks feel entitled to towards people who are not like them. Today’s bigot is one Sussex County Councilman Sam Wilson.

“Sussex County Councilman Sam Wilson said he thinks the increase in testing at poultry plants will hurt staffing levels and could mean those facilities have to close. It’s already meant that millions of chickens must be killed, he said.

“Where did the governor get the bright idea to … test the poultry workers?” Wilson asked during council’s teleconference meeting on Tuesday. “They’re losing millions of dollars because of this dumb idea.””

Got that?

This is a government official in the State of Delaware advocating for poultry workers to be treated as disposable workers. You can see that Councilman Wilson is more concerned about the fate of the chickens than he is about the fate of workers who are not working in safe conditions. Here, the poultry workers are predominantly Hispanic and some African and Caribbean workers. These workers are people who show up to process food for us, to support their families, pay Delaware taxes and help these plant owners stay open and profitable.

Councilman Wilson dips into some of the right wing feverishness around COVID-19 when he complains about testing. Starting with the President, there has been a real reluctance even divisiveness about a robust testing regime. If you test a lot of people, you will get a better picture of the extent of the infections and your problem — and the right does not want to know how badly their government had failed all of us.

But he inadvertently sheds some light on why the farm industry has a hard time getting employees. The pool of workers you can get to work that hard, for so little money, under conditions that refuse to treat them as human is pretty small. And it is a failure of government at every level to continue to tolerate the long term mistreatment and devaluing of these workers.

Shame on Councilman Wilson. None of us are disposable. None of us.

You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas. -- Shirley Chisolm

7 comments on “Councilman Sam Wilson Says the Quiet Part Out Loud

  1. John Kowalko

    This Neanderthal has made a political career from appealing to the base instincts of the racist mentality. His ultimate worth and value to society would be fully realized if he could somehow join the other dinosaurs in the “tar pits” and return in a million years as a quart of oil.

  2. Yep, it’s all about money and the workers are disposable, there’s a ton of racism behind this as well. If the fools that run the plants had an ounce of brains they would have procured masks immediately when the virus hit. Suspect they couldn’t be bothered and it would have cost a few bucks.

  3. Mitch Crane

    It is much worse than his putting the owners of the plant ahead of the safety of the workers. He said if the plants are closed “millions of chickens will have to be killed” (like that isn’t their likely end even if the plants are open). He puts the lives of chickens ahead of the workers. I have been in his presence over the years. He has demonstrated his bigotry against Hispanics, African-Americans, Gays, and even those who moved here from other states. His bigotry is surpassed only by his ignorance (” we should not ban nitrates on our farms. They are natural”) So is arsenic. Sadder than all that is the fact that he has said all these things while sitting on the dais as a member of County Council and was not once ruled our of order, let alone admonished. He will be on the ballot this year, unless he retires. No one has come forth to oppose him, either in the Primary of in the General.

  4. Who will think of the chickens? is the pandemic take I didn’t expect.

  5. Joe Connor

    I first encountered Sam 30 years ago when I was active in Indian River School district issues. He was a gadfly peddling racist and anti semitic tripe during Public Comment in Board meetings. 12 years ago he found his audience and got elected to County Council. The scary part is that he is NOT an outlier. His constituents love this shit:(

  6. Sam Wilson, my elected official on County Council, is a disgraceful example of leadership. A 100 year old antique from another very ugly time. I will aid the campaign of a citizen who wants to move our county forward. Financially and otherwise…

  7. This guy reminds me of one good old boy bigot. The guy needs to retire. Jim Crow will never die in southern Delaware. Thank God that more sane people are moving down here. Racism breeds down here. The day of the white crackers will soon for off.

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